Printer driver software acts as a messenger between computer programs and the printer. The software takes data from applications and transforms it into something that the printer can read and print.
Computer applications and printers speak very different electronic languages. Generally, most computer software programs do not use printer languages, so they cannot connect directly to printers. A printer driver is a form of software that translates application data into printer languages. Therefore, these drivers are essential software for printing documents.
Most printers include driver software, but older models may have outdated software. Printer manufacturers constantly make improvements to their drivers, which add stability, introduce new features and fix problems. Driver updates can also optimize the printer after a major operating system update, so it is important to update a printer driver after every system update.
Printer manufacturers usually offer updated drivers on their official websites. These can usually be found by searching for the printer model name in the support or help section of the manufacturer's website. Because drivers are designed to be compatible with specific operating system versions, always check the operating system version before downloading a driver update.
Windows also offers a feature that allows users to update drivers through the hardware section of the Control Panel. To update a driver through the Control Panel, right click on the printer and choose the administrator option. The advanced menu usually includes the option to find and install a new driver.